Monday, May 8, 2017

8th Graders. End of School. The Sharks Game.

For some reason I began explaining to my students one of my favorite games to play when I was a child.  I called it "Sharks".  I would pretend that the grass all around my swing set was shark-infested waters, and that as long as I stayed off the grass, I was safe. I would pull picnic table benches over and use them as stepping stones so that I would not touch the grass.  
So, as I was telling my story, the idea occurred to me that we could do the same thing in the classroom.  The carpet could be the shark- infested waters, and we could walk around on the desks and stools using pillows for stepping stones.  I declared that Monday would be "Shark Day".  And so it was.  
The idea carried over into math and English as well.  I like to put something history-related on their math papers, so that Monday it was a picture of Laika, the first dog in space on the Russian spaceship Sputnik.  I had inadvertently copied their 8" x 11" math worksheets on 11" x 17" paper, so I told them they had to draw me a picture on the blank side.  One of my students drew "Sputnik Shark", with a shark riding inside a spaceship.  And, for their vocabulary word "permissible", one of the students wrote, "Playing sharks is permissible in Mrs. Swanson's room."  Absolutely it is.  

And, I might add, that even though we are being a little silly this last month of school, my students just got their highest grammar grades of the year on a quiz identifying and diagramming compound-complex sentences.  They also had to write compound-complex sentences on their amazing history essays, which they did.